Maryland City Directories Online (Tuesday’s Tip)

Posted on April 12, 2016 in Maryland Research Tips, Tuesday's Tips

The Archives of Maryland Online (AOMOL) currently provides access to over 471,000 historical documents that form the constitutional, legal, legislative, judicial, and administrative basis of Maryland’s government. Online access enables users to research such topics as constitutional records, city directories, land records, military records and many early state records. If you are prompted for a user name and password, in most instances, the user name/password of aaco/aaco# will work, but instructions should be provided as to how to register your own.

Matchett’s Baltimore Director 1827, vol. 491, page 3, Archives of Maryland Online

Matchett’s Baltimore Directory 1827, vol. 491, page 3, Archives of Maryland Online

One of the state records collections that I would like to discuss today is City Directories. This collection contains digital images of the various microfilmed pages of these directories, but it also includes a transcription of each page so this collection is searchable.

The collection includes city directories from Annapolis (1910 and 1924), Baltimore City (1827 – 1856 but not all years) and the first African-American city directories for Baltimore (1913 – 1946).

The page also includes a useful link to Baltimore City directories (1800 – 1850, 1850 – 1890, 1900 – 1950) that are available online through the University of Maryland.  The link provided by AOMOL takes you to the University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives home page. This link takes you directly to the digital Baltimore City directories.

The city directories at the University of Maryland are digital images only and cannot be searched for specific data, such as surname. You must view them page by page as if you were looking at the original book. One advantage here is that the each of the books are in alphabetical order by surname or business name.

The University of Maryland has many other useful digital collections. Additional sources for Maryland City Directories can be found at Maryland Directories at

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Maryland Early State Newspapers Online

Posted on April 7, 2016 in Genealogy Databases, Maryland Research Tips

The Archives of Maryland Online (AOMOL) currently provides access to over 471,000 historical documents that form the constitutional, legal, legislative, judicial, and administrative basis of Maryland’s government. Online access enables users to research such topics as constitutional records, city directories, land records, military records and many early state records. If you are prompted for a user name and password, in most instances, the user name/password of aaco/aaco# will work, but instructions should be provided as to how to register your own.

A page from the database Ellicott City Times September 7, 1870 - December 27, 1879

A page from the database Ellicott City Times September 7, 1870 – December 27, 1879

One of the early state records collections that I would like to discuss today is Newspapers. This collection contains digital images of the various microfilmed pages of these newspapers and the collection is browseable. Below you will find a complete list of the early Maryland newspapers available at AOMOL. Please be aware that these were very old newspapers and many were already damaged prior to microfilming. This is an ongoing project at the Archives.

American and Commercial Daily Advertiser
M890 – September 4, 1802 – December 31, 1804.
M891 – January 1, 1805 – June 29, 1805.
M892 – July 1, 1805 – December 31, 1805.
M893 – January 1, 1806 – June 30, 1806.
M894 – July 1, 1806 – December 31, 1806.
M895 – January 1, 1807 – June 30, 1807.
M896 – July 1, 1807 – December 31, 1807.

Baltimore Clipper
M8521 – March 3, 1847 – December 31, 1863.
M8522 – January 1, 1864 – December 31, 1864.
M8523 – January 2, 1865 – September 30, 1865.

Baltimore Whig
M8495 – July 2, 1810 – December 31, 1810.

Cambridge Chronicle
M1073 – December 25, 1830 – June 13, 1947.
M8778 – January 3, 1846 – December 30, 1857.

Cecil Whig
M7443 – August 20, 1870 – August 1, 1874.

Centreville Observer
M7951 – June 27, 1871 – October 5, 1918.

Easton Gazette
M11033 – May 27, 1854 – December 14, 1861.
M11034 – January 4, 1862 – December 2, 1865.
M11035 – January 27, 1866 – November 11, 1871.

Ellicott City Times
M7985 – September 7, 1870 – December 27, 1879.
M7986 – January 2, 1892 – December 30, 1893.
M7987 – January 6, 1894 – December 25, 1895.
M7988 – January 1, 1898 – December 30, 1899.

Kent County News
M5091 – January 6, 1965 – June 30, 1965.

Maryland Gazette
Maryland Gazette 1728-1839

Maryland Journal
M1931 – January 5, 1889 – December 28, 1889.

Maryland News Sheet
M5153 – September 24, 1861 – December 31, 1861.
M5154 – January 1, 1862 – March 31, 1862.
M5155 – April 1, 1862 – June 30, 1862.
M5156 – July 1, 1862 – August 14, 1862.

Maryland Republican
M2957 – June 17, 1809 – December 30, 1809.

Montgomery County Sentinel
M476 – January 1, 1860 – December 27, 1872.

Queenstown News
M2622 – January 7, 1888 – July 11, 1903.

Republican Star, or, Eastern Shore General Advertiser
M2800 – September 7, 1802 – December 27, 1803.

M10521 – April 22, 1861 – February 17, 1862.


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Genealogy Mysteries 2016

Posted on March 30, 2016 in Genealogy Mysteries

Genealogy Mysteries sm txt

In 2012, I published my first post, which was titled Genealogy Mysteries. It provided a summary of the genealogy mysteries I discovered at that time. In 2014, I published Genealogy Mysteries – Expanded and in 2015, I published Genealogy Mysteries – Expanded and Updated and More Genealogy Mysteries.

Since then, I have been accumulating and reading new books, authors, and series in this sub-genre. It seems this sub-genre is really taking off. For those of you who also enjoy genealogy and reading mysteries, in no particular order, this is my comprehensive list of all genealogy mysteries that I have discovered to date.

2016 Hot News

Kindred by Steve Robinson smOn April 12, Steve Robinson will be releasing his latest Jefferson Tayte mystery, Kindred. This series features an American professional genealogist, who seems to do most of his work in the UK.  To me, this series most closely emulates many of our real life dilemmas in the field of genealogy. In Kindred, Jefferson Tayte follows clues to his own family history in Munich, unlocking dangerous secrets from WWII.

During 2016, we can also look forward to Dead End Street a new Nell Pratt Museum Mystery by Sheila Connolly scheduled for a June 7, 2016 release. Brynn Bonner’s genealogist sleuth, Soph McClure and her partner, Esme Sabatier, will be back in Dead in a Flash on August 30, 2016.

Series Family History Mysteries

The Nick Herald series by Jimmy Fox features a professional genealogist in New Orleans, Louisiana. Recommended.

  • Deadly Pedigree (2001) – Kindle
  • Lineages and Lies (2002) – Kindle
  • Jackpot Blood (2014) – Kindle

The Danny O’Flaherty series by Jonathan Harrington stars an American teacher researching his family’s roots in Ireland and New York City.

  • The Death of Cousin Rose (1996) – Paperback
  • The Second Sorrowful Mystery (1999) – Paperback
  • A Great Day for Dying (2001) – Paperback

The Lottie Albright series by Charlotte Hinger features a historian and editor for the county historical society in a small town in Western Kansas.

  • Deadly Descent (2009) – Kindle
  • Lethal Lineage (2011) – Kindle
  • Hidden Heritage (2013) – Kindle

The Demary Jones series by E. L. Larkin (deceased) is set in Seattle, Washington, with Demary as the owner of Confidential Research, specializing in genealogy and historical research.

  • Hear My Cry (1997) – Hardcover
  • Hear Me Die (1998) – Hardcover
  • Die and Die (1998) – Paperback
  • Dead Men Die (1999) – Hardcover
  • The Swallow Murders (1999) – Hardcover
  • Die in Texas (2002) – Hardcover

Victory (Torie) O’Shea, a genealogist in New Kassel, Missouri, is ably portrayed in a series by Rett MacPherson. Now all available in Kindle editions.

  • Family Skeletons (2014) – Kindle
  • A Veiled Antiquity (2013) – Kindle
  • A Comedy of Heirs (2014) – Kindle
  • A Misty Mourning (2000) – Kindle
  • Killing Cousins (2002) – Kindle
  • Blood Relations (2014) – Kindle
  • In Sheep’s Clothing (2014) – Kindle
  • Thicker Than Water (2005) – Kindle
  • Dead Man Running (2006) – Kindle
  • Died in the Wool (2014) – Kindle
  • The Blood Ballad (2014) – Kindle

Natasha Blake, a genealogist in the Cotswolds in England appears in the series by Fiona Mountain.

  • Pale as the Dead (2004) – Kindle
  • Bloodline (2015) – Kindle

Fay Sampson is the author of the Suzie Fewings books a series about a genealogist discovering interesting secrets in her family history in England.

  • In the Blood (2009) – Paperback
  • A Malignant House (2010) – Paperback
  • Those in Peril (2010) – Paperback
  • Father Unknown (2011) – Kindle
  • The Overlooker (2012) – Kindle
  • Beneath the Soil (2014) – Kindle

The Family Tree mysteries by Patricia Sprinkle feature Katherine Murray as an amateur genealogist who finds strange events in the past.

  • Death on the Family Tree (2007) – Kindle
  • Sins of the Fathers (2007) – Paperback
  • Daughter of Deceit (2008) – Kindle

Mort Sinclair, a respected genealogist and lawyer on Fogge Island off the New England coast, stars in a series by Gene Stratton.  Gene Stratton, a much-traveled former CIA case officer, is a well-known genealogist who has had two prior books published: Plymouth Colony and Applied Genealogy.

  • Killing Cousins (1999) – Hardcover
  • Cornish Conundrum (2000) – Kindle

The Nigel Barnes series by Dan Waddell concerns a professional genealogist who assists the police, mainly Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster in London, England.

  • The Blood Detective (2008) – Hardcover
  • Blood Atonement (2009) – Hardcover

The Jefferson Tayte mysteries by Steve Robinson feature a professional genealogist who ferrets out family secrets and old mysteries using genealogy research primarily in the UK.  This series is a page-turner and keeps getting better and better. Highly recommended.

  • In the Blood (2011) – Kindle
  • To the Grave (2012) – Kindle
  • The Last Queen of England (2012) – Kindle
  • The Lost Empress (2014) – Kindle
  • Kindred (2016) – Kindle

Patrick Day’s new series starring Anna Fitzgerald, a career detective with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Division, who becomes entangled with genealogy to trace old coins in this first book of the series.

  • Murders and Genealogy in Hennepin County (2012) – Kindle

Simon Shaw, professor of history and “forensic historian” in Raleigh, North Carolina, in a series by Sarah R. Shaber, uses his expertise in historical and genealogical research to help solve murders that have their roots in the past.

  • Simon Said (1997) – Kindle
  • Snipe Hunt (2000) – Kindle
  • The Fugitive King (2002) – Kindle
  • The Bug Funeral (2004) – Kindle
  • Shell Game (2007) – Kindle

The Alex & Briggie mysteries by G. G. Vandagriff, team up a spunky young widow and her rifle-toting grandmother, who run a genealogy research business called RootSearch, Inc. that seems to specialize in solving murders.

  • Cankered Roots (2011) – Kindle
  • Of Deadly Descent (2011) – Kindle
  • Tangled Roots (2011) – Kindle
  • Poisoned Pedigree (2012) – Kindle
  • The Hidden Branch (2011) – Kindle

In the Morton Farrier, Forensic Genealogist series by Nathan Dylan Goodwin, we discover a stubborn, determined man who uses whatever means necessary to uncover the past.  Great new series.  Highly recommended.

  • Hiding the Past (2013) – Kindle
  • The Lost Ancestor (2014) – Kindle
  • The Orange Lilies: A Morton Farrier novella (2014) – Kindle
  • The America Ground (2015) – Kindle

These books by John Nixon star family historian, Madeleine Porter.  While not mysteries as we think of them, they all take us through the experiences of our amateur “detectives” unraveling the “mysteries” that surround them.

  • Family Shadows (2014) – Kindle
  • The Cuckoo Clock (2014) – Kindle
  • Stolen Futures (2014) – Kindle
  • Another Summer (2014) – Kindle
  • The Cost of Silence (2015) – Kindle

The Museum Mysteries by Sheila Connolly star Nell Pratt, president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society (think Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia) who spends much of her time solving murders through research in their collections. These books are fascinating for their mysteries, their history, and our glimpses into the lives of the archivists. Highly recommended.

  • Fundraising the Dead (2010) – Kindle
  • Let’s Play Dead (2011) – Kindle
  • Fire Engine Dead (2012) – Kindle
  • Monument to the Dead (2013) – Kindle
  • Razing the Dead (2014) – Kindle
  • Privy to the Dead (2015) – Kindle
  • Dead End Street (2016) – Kindle

In the Family History Mysteries by Brynn Bonner, genealogist Sophreena McClure is an expert at unearthing other people’s secrets. Using old documents and photographs, Soph and her business partner, Esme Sabatier—also a gifted medium—trace family histories and create heritage scrapbooks.

  • Paging the Dead (2013) – Kindle
  • Death in Reel Time (2014) – Kindle
  • Picture Them Dead (2015) – Kindle
  • Dead in a Flash (2016) – Kindle

Geraldine Wall writes about probate researcher Anna Ames in this trilogy. These are mystery thrillers and we are drawn in to Anna’s family, life and work.

  • File Under Fear (2014) – Kindle
  • File Under Family (2014) – Kindle
  • File Under Fidelity (2015) – Kindle

This is the first book in a supernatural genealogy detective series called Maze Investigations by M.K. Jones featuring Maggie Gilbert, set in Newport, South Wales, drawing on real historical details.

  • Three Times Removed (2015) – Kindle

If you like your genealogy mysteries with a little humor, see the series starring Ben Bones, Genealogical Consultant and self-described Articulator of Family Skeletons written by Michael Havelin.

  • Ben Bones and The Galleon of Gold (2013) – Kindle
  • Ben Bones and the Search for Paneta’s Crown (2012) – Kindle
  • Ben Bones and the Deadly Descendants (2013) – Kindle
  • Ben Bones and the Conventional Murders (2015) – Kindle

Esme Quentin solves mysteries using genealogy in the West Midlands and in Devon in the books by Wendy Percival

  • Blood-Tied (2013) – Kindle
  • The Indelible Stain (2014) – Kindle

Non-Series Family History Mysteries

Thomas McKerley and Ingrid Schippers, in their first genealogy mystery, Bloodlines – Touch Not the Cat (2012), introduce Cathy Macpherson, who uncovers her own and her husband’s past.  Hope this becomes a series. Kindle edition.

The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molineux (2013) stars Peter Sefton, amateur family historian. Not quite a mystery but certainly a detective story. Kindle edition.

In Silent Legacy: Discovering Family Secrets by Diana Church (2014) some German immigration history with new finds from a research trip helps Ellen O’Donnell solve a long-standing family mystery. Kindle edition.

In Finding Eliza by Stephanie Pitcher Fishman (2014), an old diary leads Lizzie Clydell down a dusty road of lies, hidden family secrets, and a lynching that nearly destroyed her family. I loved the quote “It’s just a little family history. What could go wrong?” Kindle edition.

Where’s Merrill? a genealogical thriller by Gearoid O’Neary (2013) is based upon real life historical events. The story unravels as Irish genealogist, Jed, researches his client’s mysterious maternal ancestry. Kindle edition.

Benjamin’s Ghosts: An Enid Gilchrist Mystery by Sylvia A. Nash (2014) is a cozy genealogy murder mystery set in West Tennessee. This is the start of a promising series. I hope we hear more from this author. Kindle edition.

In the Tainted Tree by Jacquelynn Luben (2013), Addie Russell inherits a house in Surrey and begins researching her English family Her research takes her back three generations to the First World War.

A century-old key may unlock the ancestral secrets of four families in The Fourth Descendant by Allison Maruska (2015).

While not a series, these genealogical mysteries by Norma Elizabeth Rawlings focus on how researching their ancestors became a life changing experience for each central character.

  • Sleeping Dogs (2012) – Kindle
  • Sleeping Dogs II (2013) – Kindle
  • Malvern Murders (2013) – Kindle
  • In the Genes (2013) – Kindle

Package from The Past by Jacqueline Opresnik is a search for a missing heir and family fortune set against the historical events of the Boer War and World War II.

Of course, for non-fiction fans there is Only A Few Bones: A True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and Its Aftermath by John Philip Colletta.  This is an outstanding read.

All of the books mentioned here are available in the editions specified and can be found at Many of the Kindle editions are also available in paperback and/or hardcover.

If I’ve missed any of your favorites, please let me know in the comments. I am trying to make this list as complete as possible.


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M. Thomas, Photographer of Thomas Edison’s Favorite Photo

Posted on March 23, 2016 in Family Photos

Last year I participated in the course “Family Photographs: Identifying, Preserving, and Sharing Your Visual Heritage” with instructor Maureen Taylor. The course is part of the great offerings of the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR).

One of the topics discussed was the photographer’s mark or logo on the photo. I searched my entire photo collection and only found two photos that included photographer information. One was American Art Studio, H. E. Weikel, Mt. Carmel, Pa. and the other was M. Thomas, Shamokin, Pa. For the moving story of H. E. Weikel, please see may earlier post The Tragic Life of Henry E. Weikel, Mt. Carmel Photographer.

According to both Find A Grave and a 2004 Shamokin News-Item article by Mark Gilger, Myron Thomas was born 7 August 1851, the son of Amos Thomas and Hannah Williams. The family lived in Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. He appears with his family in the 1860 US census incorrectly enumerated as Mira a 9-year-old female.

Myron Thomas was self-taught and worked at mastering the new method of making a photographic image by chemistry. He established his first studio in 1876 on the south side of Sunbury Street between Shamokin and Franklin streets. After two years on Sunbury Street, Myron Thomas moved his studio to its final location on Independence Street founding the Thomas Studio (1878 – 1998). Myron Thomas married Emma A. Dyer (1859 – 1954) 10 October 1878 and the couple celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1928.

M. Thomas established a chain of studios in Pennsylvania, including Mount Carmel, Ashland and Tamaqua. The Shamokin studio remained the principal center for processing photos. They specialized in aerial, commercial, publicity, copies, and framing. Newspaper articles indicate that Myron’s sister, Lillian, followed in her brother’s footsteps and also became a well-known photographer.

He retired in 1929, selling the business to two of his sons, Ralph and Paul Thomas, who continued to operate the studio at the same location. Myron Thomas died 17 January 1940, at the age of 89.

Thomas Edison - Thomas Studio

Thomas Edison – Thomas Studio

A letter dated 7 April 1898, from Thomas Edison, the inventor of the electric light bulb, phonograph and many other contrivances, asked M. Thomas for a copy of the portrait that he described as one of the best ever taken and his favorite. Edison had a portrait taken at the studio in 1876 – 1877, by Myron Thomas, founder of the business. At the time, Edison, was living in Shamokin near Thomas’ studio.

While he was in the Shamokin area, Edison was responsible for providing electricity to St. Edward Church on North Shamokin Street, which was the first church building in America to have electrical lighting.

The photo below, taken by M. Thomas, has been dated to the 1880s. My great-grandfather Andrew Gunther (1858 – 1931) arrived in America in 1881. He married Eva Meisberger (1861 – 1941) on 11 February 1884 in Shamokin at St. Edwards Church. Eva was the daughter of my 2nd great-grandfather, Theobald Meisberger. Their family was one of the founding families of St. Edward’s church.

According to Maureen Taylor, the dress Eva is wearing is a work day dress, but these are poor coal mining families so this may be her best dress. My speculation is that this may be an 1884 wedding photo of the couple.

Andrew Gunther and Eva Meisberger photo by M. Thomas, Shamokin, Pa., ca. 1884. Original photo in possession of the author.

Andrew Gunther and Eva Meisberger photo by M. Thomas, Shamokin, Pa., ca. 1884. Original photo in possession of the author.



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Tech Tuesday: Make Google the Default Search Engine in Windows 10 Edge

Posted on March 15, 2016 in Genealogical Tips, Tech Tuesday

This post is not really genealogy, but the default search engine may be of interest to many genealogists who are heavily invested in using Google for genealogy searches on the Internet. Microsoft Windows 10 and its new browser, Edge, default to Bing as the search engine of choice both on your desktop and Edge. If you don’t care for Bing, here is how you can change it.

Microsoft 10 comes with a search icon, which is displayed on the taskbar. That search uses Bing as does Cortana. On my Windows 10 computers I have Cortana turned off. I find it annoying. I have not been able to find any way to set the desktop to use Google instead of Bing when searching using the search icon on the taskbar. I don’t really use this search. When I wish to search my disk drives I use File Explorer searches. You can hide the search icon by right clicking on the icon and selecting Hidden.

There is a way to make Google (or other search engines) the default search engine for Edge.

1. Open Edge and go to or the home page of the search engine of your choice

2. In the upper right corner of your browser, click (…) > Settings.

Settings drop-down in Edge

Settings drop-down in Edge

3. In the “Advanced settings” section, click View Advanced Settings.

4. Under “Search in address bar with,” click Change.

5. Click Google Search > Set as default.

NOTE: If you don’t see Google Search as an option when you click Change, try to perform a search on; then try the steps again starting with step 2.

I am now happily Googling my genealogy again.

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Tech Tuesday- Using Snagit to Attach Citations to Your Digital Images

Posted on March 8, 2016 in Tech Tuesday

There are many ways to attach a source citation to a digital image using various techniques and products. One of my favorite methods is to use a program called Snagit from TechSmith.

Open your image in Snagit Editor. As my example I am using an image of the 1930 US census that I downloaded from to my computer. Under the Image tab, set the Canvas Color to White. Select Resize then Resize Canvas. Resize the canvas by extending the height about 100 pixels under Dimensions. I changed my 1930 census image canvas height from 2209 to 2300. Under Image Placement, place the image at the top center. This will allow you to add your source citation at the bottom on the extended canvas (background).

Next scroll to the bottom of the entire image and you will see the additional canvas as a white space running across the bottom of your image. Under the Tools tab, select the Callout icon. This opens the Styles window. I usually use the style selected in the image below for adding my citations. Select the style you desire and type your source citation in the text box.

View of Snagit Styles with Abc (black text on transparent background) selected

View of Snagit Styles with Abc (black text on transparent background) selected

I usually save my file using Snagit File Format (SNAG). This allows me to modify it if needed. I then do Save As either JPG or PNG format. Once saved in a format that is not Snagit, the image can no longer be edited.

Here is my finished image complete with source citation.

Example: Thomas Noble 1930 U.S. census with citation

Example: Thomas Noble 1930 U.S. census with citation

How do you add citation text to your images?



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Society Saturday – The ABCs of DNA for Genealogy

Posted on March 5, 2016 in Society Saturday

CCGSLogoB&W smThe Carroll County Genealogical Society’s upcoming meeting on Monday, March 21, 2016 at 7:30 PM features Eileen Souza. Eileen is a professional genealogist who specializes in Maryland research. She is president of the Carroll County Genealogical Society, a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, the Maryland Genealogical Society and other local business and genealogical societies.

Eileen has lectured locally on various genealogical topics. She is the author of Research in Carroll County, published in the August 2012 issue of the Maryland Genealogical Society Journal. Eileen has had her DNA tested at both Family Tree DNA and Ancestry DNA.

Eileen will be presenting The ABCs of DNA for Genealogy. What is DNA? What types of DNA are used for genealogy? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How do I know what test to take? Well, I got my results, now what? If you have asked yourself these questions, then this presentation is for you. If the highly technical nature of most DNA talks confuses you, then this presentation is for you. As the name implies, this presentation will answer your questions using a non-technical, genealogy-oriented approach. It will also address what DNA does not do to help set your expectations.

Meetings of the Carroll County Genealogical Society (CCGS) are held the third Monday of each month, March through May and September through November, at 7:30 p.m. in the Dixon Room, Westminster Library at 50 East Main Street, Westminster. Refreshments are available at 7:00 p.m. and the meetings are free and open to the public.  An annual dinner is held each June and a holiday party each December.  These are for members and their guests, with reservations made in advance.

Please come to our meeting and bring a friend. You will meet other folks interested in family research and genealogy and enjoy delightful talks that may help you in your own research.  I look forward to seeing new faces!

You can also come early and take advantage of our large collection of books and other materials housed at the Westminster Branch of the CCPL.  On Thursday afternoons, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., one or more society volunteers will be on hand to assist researchers. Of course, this collection is available to all anytime the library is open.

The CCGS Genealogy Section at the Westminster Branch Library. Photo by Eileen Souza

The CCGS Genealogy Section at the Westminster Branch Library. Photo by Eileen Souza


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Tuesday’s Tip – Maryland Historic Newspapers on Chronicling America


Chronicling America Home Page sm txt

Chronicling America is a Website providing access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages. It is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). NDNP, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an free Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages. Chronicling is developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress.

In addition to its online and browsable collection, Chronicling America provides information, which includes the location of the non-digital copies, on the holdings of most known newspapers.

To find the newspapers in your state, go to and select your state. The following Maryland newspapers are currently both searchable and browsable on Chronicling America.

American Republican and Baltimore Daily Clipper
Baltimore, Md., 11 Nov 1844-31 Dec 1846

Baltimore Commercial Journal, and Lyford’s Price-Current
Baltimore, Md., 23 Jan 1847 – 8 Dec 1849

Baltimore Daily Commercial
Baltimore, Md., 2 Oct 1865 – 30 Jun 1866

Catoctin Clarion
Mechanicstown, Md., 4 Mar 1847 – 28 Dec 1922

Civilian & Telegraph
Cumberland, Md., 17 Mar 1858 – 28 Dec 1865

Der Deutsche Correspondent
Baltimore, Md., 1 Jan 1858 – 31 Dec 1913

Der Deutsche Correspondent
Baltimore, Md., 2 Jan 1874 – 18 Oct 1912

Maryland Free Press
Hagerstown, Md., 31 Oct 1862 – 18 Jun 1868

St. Mary’s Beacon
Leonard Town, Md., 7 Oct 1852 – 23 Apr 1863

St. Mary’s Gazette
Leonard Town, Md., 1 Oct 1863 – 29 Aug 1867

St. Mary’s Beacon
Leonard Town, Md., 5 Sep 1867 – 15 Dec 1921

The Daily Exchange
Baltimore, Md., 22 Feb 1858 – 14 Sep 1861

The Pilot
Baltimore [Md.], 2 Apr 1840 – 2 May 1840

The Pilot and Transcript
Baltimore, Md., 4 May 1840 – 25 Jan 1841


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Frank Brown of South Carroll – Carroll’s Only Maryland Governor

Posted on February 9, 2016 in Family History, Interesting Finds

Ancestors of Frank Brown sm

Frank Brown (August 8, 1846 – February 3, 1920), the 42nd Governor of Maryland from 1892 to 1896. was born in 1846 in Sykesville, Maryland. He was a member of the United States Democratic Party. He also served as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1876 to 1878.

Brown was first employed by the R. Sinclair & Co. and from 1870-1875, clerked in the State tobacco warehouse. He became the President of the Maryland State Agricultural & Mechanical Society in 1880. Then from 1886-1890, he served as Postmaster of Baltimore. For the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, Brown was the President of the Board of Managers in Maryland. Later in life, he served as the President of the Baltimore Traction Company.

Brown inherited a large tract from his father, in Carroll County, known as  “Brown’s Inheritance”. He later purchased “Springfield”, an adjoining farm. After his term as governor, He sold both properties to the State of Maryland. This property eventually became the site of the Springfield Hospital.

In 1892, Brown was elected to his highest political position as Governor of Maryland, serving four years. His other political positions included Campaign Treasurer of the Democratic State Central Committee (1885), Campaign Manager for both Thomas G. Hayes for mayor of Baltimore (1899) and J. Barry Mahool for mayor of Baltimore (1906). His final position was City Collector for Baltimore in 1907.

He died in 1920 and is buried in the Greenmount Cemetery, located in Baltimore, Maryland.


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My FTM Transition Project – Update!

Posted on February 5, 2016 in Genealogical Technology

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It has been a surprising week! In December, Ancestry stunned us with the announcement that they are retiring Family Tree Maker. This week, they staggered us with their new announcement of two options for desktop software that will work with Ancestry.

The first option is that Software MacKiev has agreed to publish future versions of Family Tree Maker so its life will not terminate at the end of 2016. Family Tree Maker has risen from the dead.

The second option is an agreement between Ancestry and RootsMagic to connect Ancestry with their software by the end of 2016. Folks who desire to synchronize their databases with Ancestry now have two choices.

At first blush, it seems that all my problems are solved. I just continue to use FTM 2014 and await the next upgrade. While I love my Family Tree Maker software, this transitioning exercise has whetted my curiosity about the other software products. Maybe there is alternative desktop software that I would like better than FTM or maybe not; but if I don’t look, I will never know.

I have decided to complete the implementation of my plan to transition from FTM only I will now include FTM as one of my alternatives. I am very curious as to what I will learn.

On with Phase 1.I am continuing to work on the activity identify and fix all data errors in the current database. Please see my post “Tech Tuesday – FTM Transition Implementation: Phase 1 How to Identify & Fix Potential GEDCOM Errors” for more details about this activity.

Friday, January 29, 2016
Continuing with the issues in Keith’s post, I next corrected Address. According to Keith, Address should be stored as separate fields (street address, city, state, etc) within FTM, which it is not. Therefore, it cannot be corrected within FTM. I took his suggestion, copied, and pasted my address into the Note for the fact/event associated with it. If there was no event, I stored it in the person note. I did the same with Email, Phone Number and Web Address. I am not doing anything to Race since all the programs appear to import it correctly.

I copied all Tasks to the Note for the person and exported all my Saved Publications. I don’t have any person Web Links so no issue.

The decision to fix or not and the amount of effort required is more complex with the remaining items of Multimedia and Sources. In my next session, I will decide how to handle the Multimedia issues of Date, Description, and Text Field.

These posts may not appear weekly since I may be using much of the Friday morning time just doing the corrections, which may be time consuming and boring to write about. We shall see…

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